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(Page 39 of 41)

Sharks await development of 'Berlin Wall' on defense

Thursday, 09.16.2010 / 12:06 PM / Prospects

Ryan Pinder - Correspondent

PENTICTON, B.C. -- "So you want to talk to the Berlin Wall?"

That's the question tossed out from the pair of San Jose Sharks defensemen as they sit in the dressing room preparing for a game at the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Tournament.

The pair of towering defenders -- 6-foot-5 Konrad Abeltshauser and 6-foot-3 Dominick Bielke -- offers this question with curious accents and toothy smiles.

Bielke, a Berliner, is 19-years-old, was drafted at No. 207 in the 2009 Entry Draft and split time playing with the Dresden Ice Lions of the German Second Division and the Berlin Polar Bears of the Elite League last season.


Cowen wants to earn an NHL job with Senators

Thursday, 09.16.2010 / 9:05 AM / Prospects

Jonas Siegel - Correspondent

LONDON, Ont. -- The Ottawa Senators want to see a snarl on the face of Jared Cowen.

Following the offseason departures of Anton Volchenkov and Andy Sutton, the Senators are looking for a new, gritty presence on the back end -- and they're hoping Cowen fits the bill.

"Just hard to play against," said Randy Lee, the team's director of player development and hockey administration, when asked what the Senators are looking for from Cowen. "Not a fighter, not a dirty player, but just be that physical guy back there and give us some sort of oomph and help replace that void left by those two guys.

"He's not supposed to replace those two players, but just fill the void a bit."

Consistently being that nasty, imposing presence, however, isn't something that comes naturally to the towering defenseman from Allan, Sask.


Tangradi embraces chance to play on Pens wing

Wednesday, 09.15.2010 / 1:14 PM / Prospects

Jonas Siegel - Correspondent

LONDON, Ontario -- Down the middle the Pittsburgh Penguins are about as strong as they come in the National Hockey League. With Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh boasts a threesome of almost unmatched potency.

The challenge for general manager Ray Shero is finding suitable talent to play with that dynamic trio of middlemen. In 6-foot-4, 221-pound power forward Eric Tangradi, the Penguins hope they've found a fit.

"That's why we have him," said John Hynes, coach of the AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, as well as the rookie Penguins at the Maple Leafs' annual rookie tournament here. "He fits the profile of what we need in Pittsburgh and I think that's why we have so much interest in working with him and helping him get to the NHL, because he's a need that we're going to need to fill."

College was great experience for Vande Velde

Wednesday, 09.15.2010 / 11:39 AM / Prospects

Ryan Pinder - Correspondent

PENTICTON, B.C. -- Patience has paid off for the Edmonton Oilers and 23-year-old forward Chris Vande Velde.
Selected in the fourth round of the 2005 Entry Draft, Vande Velde has arrived in Penticton to play with the Oilers prospects in the Vancouver Young Stars Tournament after completing his four-year college career with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
Though later to the party than most other prospects here, Vande Velde is proving he belongs as a pro.
"I definitely think I' m ready to take the next step after a full college career," Vande Velde said. "I think UND got me prepared really well, and obviously that's a great program and I'm excited to get in here and maybe crack the big team."


Brodie's rapid climb could land him in Calgary

Tuesday, 09.14.2010 / 11:47 AM / Prospects

Ryan Pinder - Correspondent

TJ BRodie

TJ Brodie (Photo Credit: Ryan Pinder)

The Calgary Flames have high hopes for T.J. Brodie -- that’s why they drafted him, after all -- but he’s ahead of where many expected him to be after he was selected in the fourth round (No. 114) at the 2008 Entry Draft.

With a cast of big defensemen already in the Flames' farm system in 2008, the club wanted to add a smooth skating offensive defenseman, and Brodie certainly fit the bill. As a slight 170-pound 17-year-old, the Chatham, Ont., product posted 30 points in 68 games with the Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit.

It's tough to find gems in the later rounds, but Brodie has the look of a future NHL player. He's currently doing his part to make an impression, along with a cast of other Calgary prospects, at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C.

Morin hopes to show Hawks he's NHL ready

Tuesday, 09.14.2010 / 10:37 AM / Prospects

Jonas Siegel - Correspondent

"We scouted him very heavily in his draft year. Our amateur staff at the time was very high on him. All the reports and everything were indicating that he was someone we would've loved to have drafted had we had the opportunity. When the deal came into play, he became someone that we were very, very interested in acquiring."
-- Blackhawks Assistant General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff

LONDON, Ont. -- The Chicago Blackhawks knew changes had to be made.

The roster that claimed the organization's first Stanley Cup in 49 years in June wasn't going to come back intact -- for salary cap reasons as well as the normal turnover every team goes through.

"When you win a championship, you fall in love with all the players that you had because it was a special group of players," Blackhawks Assistant General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. "But it was a special group of players and it was a special time, and to say that you can just put that group back on the ice together and that'll mean another championship, that doesn't always happen. There's a little bit of change I think that's always necessary and keep things fresh."

NHL prospects flock to Penticton

Monday, 09.13.2010 / 10:06 AM / Prospects

Ryan Pinder - Correspondent

PENTICTON, B.C. -- Years of work finally came to fruition for Penticton on Sunday night as more than 100 NHL prospects and five NHL organizations gathered in the city for the Vancouver Canucks' first Young Stars Tournament.

The Canucks' prospects are joined by squads from the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks, and San Jose Sharks, who will play eight games in the course of five days. Though the event was announced officially in the spring by city officials and the Vancouver Canucks brass, it's a project that has been in the works for years.


Ryan eager to paint a picture for Leafs

Sunday, 09.12.2010 / 5:34 PM / Prospects

Jonas Siegel - Correspondent

LONDON, Ont. -- Kenny Ryan is happy to paint.

He'll lay bricks if that's what it takes to make it in the NHL.

"If I'm going to make it in this game, I know that I'm not going to be putting up 50 goals," Ryan laughs. "I mean maybe I will, who knows?"

The Toronto Maple Leafs' prospect and current Windsor Spitfire forward is well educated on General Manager Brian Burke's mantra for building teams and is eager to pitch in whatever role the organization envisions.

"Brian Burke always talks about [how] he's got his top six and his bottom six," Ryan says. "He's got his bricklayers and painters and I think if I'm going to play in this organization, I'm going to be a third line type of guy, a hard-nosed player, get under guys skin and put a couple points up."

Toronto to host 2011 Top Prospects Game

Thursday, 09.09.2010 / 3:29 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Some of the top prospects for the 2011 Entry Draft will get a chance to show their skills in front of NHL scouts on NHL ice when the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game takes place at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The event will be held Jan. 18-19, and will feature 40 of the best draft prospects playing in one of the Canadian Hockey League member leagues -- the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League. There will be a skills competition Jan. 18, and an exhibition game the next night. The event returns to Air Canada Centre for the first time since 2000.

"The Canadian Hockey League is very excited to bring the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game back to Toronto where the event first began in 1996," CHL President David Branch said. "This is an exciting opportunity for the NHL's future stars to display their talents on Air Canada Centre ice before a national television audience and in front of one of the largest crowds this game has ever seen, and our appreciation is extended to (GM) Brian Burke and the entire Toronto Maple Leafs organization for hosting this prestigious event."

Hamilton close to fulfilling dream

Saturday, 09.04.2010 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton, one of the top 2011 draft-eligible prospects vying for an opportunity to one day perform in the NHL, can recall vividly the games within the game when he was a young lad just learning the ropes.

Looking back, Hamilton admits it was just a way to kill time when he wasn't involved in the play.

"I'd skate around and jump over the blue lines and red lines," Hamilton told "I couldn't really remember since I was so young, but my mom actually got it on tape and we watched it a couple of years ago -- it was pretty funny. The game was at one end and I was in the opposite zone jumping over the blue line. I guess I was having fun out there."
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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic